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Dismantling of Pontoon Bridge on River Ganga Disrupts Connectivity for Thousands

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna: On Monday afternoon, the Pontoon Bridge on the River Ganga, known as the lifeline of the Diara region, was dismantled. As a result, thousands of residents from seven panchayats—Purani Panapur, Hetanpur, Kasimchak, Patlapur, Ganghara, Manas, and Akilpur—are now reliant on boats for commuting. The dismantling has severed their direct connection to the city.

Two days prior, rain had damaged the access road at the northern end of the bridge, causing significant commuting difficulties. The contractor had sent laborers to dismantle the bridge on Sunday night, but residents protested, preventing the work. However, the bridge was ultimately dismantled on Monday afternoon, citing the need to allow ships to pass.

Local leaders, including former Zila Parishad member Om Prakash Yadav, former Mukhiya Sunil Rai, Jaipal Yadav, and Mukhiya representative Vakil Rai, expressed frustration, noting that the water level of the Ganga had not risen significantly. Contractor Birendra Kumar Singh stated that the Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation Limited had ordered the dismantling after June 15, anticipating a rise in the river’s water level. The dismantling is expected to severely disrupt traffic and hinder development in the Diara region.

In Fatuha, one of the two Pontoon Bridges connecting Kachchi Dargah to Vaishali Raghopur was also dismantled on Monday due to the rising water level of the Ganga, while the other bridge remains intact. These two bridges, constructed within 100 yards of each other to handle vehicle pressure over the past two to three years, have been crucial for local traffic. Following the dismantling, traffic jams occurred on both sides of the remaining bridge throughout the day.

Vehicles moved slowly across the bridge, but boat operators capitalized on the situation. The bridge contractor indicated that the second bridge would be dismantled within the next two to three days, leaving boat travel as the sole means for crossing the Ganga.


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